Sixth record proves pop still has pulse

Christopher Nguyen

Doomsayers of the state of pop music may prophesize the end of the world because of the emergence of Ke$ha, but they don’t have to look too far for a savior in Robyn. She has the ironic foolishness of Lady Gaga without the bombastic intentions, the nonsensical playfulness of Ke$ha and the distinctive voice of Christina Aguilera, without the nauseating vocal runs.

Even in her presentation of new material, Robyn perfects the format by choosing to release three eight-song albums in one year. Instead of one drawn-out album of filler, Robyn gives listeners quick shots brimming with hits.

Now, after fans have had time to digest Body Talk Pt. 1, Robyn serves up a second shot with Body Talk Pt. 2. Whether it was intentional, the second part is the peppier sibling to its moodier, solemn predecessor. Although that may indicate an emotional void, Robyn’s wit and confidence are strong enough to mollify such worries.

In “U Should Know,” Robyn hilariously tweaks history by making herself the protagonist during important events, bringing down Nixon during Watergate, for example. As if that weren’t enough, she raps to the song’s frantic beat with Snoop Dogg. Their duet is strangely harmonious.

Although “U Should Know” exemplifies the ease with which Robyn adapts to different genres, the entire album represents her versatility, from the ‘80s kick-drum machine beats of “In My Eyes,” to the M.I.A-inspired, dance funk of “Criminal Intent.”

Under the sweeping, classical violin crescendos in “Indestructible,” Robyn puts together words to make them sound natural, even beautiful, that would otherwise sound jarring.

Although most of the songs are heavy on four-on-the-floor beats, Body Talk Pt. 2 has its share of tear-inducing moments. Continuing in the same vein as Part 1’s “Dancing on My Own,” “Hang with Me” recounts the healing process of unrequited intimacy over towering, glittering synths. It has easily taken its place as the album’s highlight.

Body Talk Pt. 2 can almost be seen as Robyn indirectly taunting current Top 40 singers. As long as she continues with this level of quality, pop music’s doomsday won’t occur any time soon.

For fans of: Lady Gaga, Lily Allen, M.I.A.

Grade: A